“Unreached, Unengaged, under-engaged, 4, 083 people groups, almost 3 billion people….”
These terms and statistics refer to peoples living around the world that have little to no gospel influence in their community. While terms and statistics are helpful in quantifying the need and tracking progress, they are terrible at telling stories of real people. Stories of men, women, and children who live in a world where they wake up and go to sleep without having the opportunity to hear the name of Jesus. Stories of men, women, and children who live in a world where they are neglected, oppressed, and in need. Motivation to participate in the Great Commission and reach people needs to go beyond terms and statistics.
A caveat: numbers are not all bad.
Every number, in some way, represents a real person. For instance, where I live in in North Carolina, there is an estimated population approaching 1,000,000 people. Of those 1 million people, 60+% are considered “uninvitable”to church, meaning that if invited they would politely (or not so politely as is often the case) decline your church-centered invite. Those statistics paint a discouraging picture, but that’s not the full story. Here’s the encouraging news: Of those “univintables,”73% of them say that they are open to a spiritual conversation about Jesus. Translation: a majority of these people will say no to going to church, but will say yes to talking about Jesus, which is by far the more important conversation. What an opportunity!
Every man, woman, and child has a story. Take time this week to learn somebody’s story. Engage people in gospel-centered conversation. If you are interested in unreached, unengaged, and under-engaged peoples around the world and in your own community, go beyond the statistics and start learning their stories, too.